Coe: IAAF 'very sympathetic' to 2017 bid

Wed, 09 Nov 20:41:00 2011

London's case to host the 2017 athletics world championships is being heard "very sympathetically and being met well", bid spearhead Sebastian Coe said on Wednesday.

OLYMPIC GAMES London 2012 Sebastian Coe and Hannah England test the new athletics track in East London - 0

Coe would not speculate on London's chances of winning a vote by the International Association of Athletics Federations in Monaco on Friday when the capital goes head to head with Doha to stage the track and field global showpiece.

But the man who helped win the 2012 Olympic Games for London said few concerns had been raised about the bid after the first day's session of a three-day governing body meeting in the principality.

"Our case is being heard very sympathetically and it's being met well... but it's a bit like an opinion poll until they start emptying those ballot boxes," Coe told a conference call.

"I think people know the strength of the case... remember many of those Council members are regular attendees at the (London) Diamond League meeting... we are the only city out there that has a Diamond League meeting over two days and we could sell five times the number of tickets. So they are very familiar with the contribution that British Athletics makes."

Coe said London's message that it could host a successful championships was clear and concise.

"I'm focusing on the fact that we have a national stadium that the British government and the Mayor of London have invested in the infrastructure for my sport in a way that you would be hard pushed to say in the last decade any government or city has done," he said.

"We have a world class national stadium to put before my Council colleagues on Friday, and one that is guaranteed for track and field.

"It's about getting the message out clearly, it's about being able to lay out the vision, people understanding why you are bidding and what it is you think you can do for the sport.

We have made very strong arguments in that direction."

Coe said that contrary to British media speculation, there had been no talk of the governing body awarding two championships simultaneously for 2017 and 2019, with one going to each bidder.

"There have been no formal conversations with any of the bid teams about it," he said. "It's certainly not come up in Council.

"On the basis that earlier today we drew lots for the bid presentation order on Friday, one assumes we are still locked into that same process. The great thing about a bid is to avoid getting hooked up on gossip that changes every 30 seconds.

"The very firm instinct of both bids is that 2017 is what we have bid for. 2017, in London's terms is what we are aiming to deliver on and that is our focus."


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